Sunday, June 10, 2018

No Wonder Why...

For the last two years, I have spent many days trying to determine why things where a certain way within the school district and community. I have frequently asked people why a certain procedure was in place or why a certain person seemed to cause fear in people, or why some things were implemented that were not ultimately serving the best interest of kids. On almost every occasion, the response would boil down to some form of 'the squeakiest wheel got the grease' or 'whoever would cry the loudest would get what they want' or 'we didn't want someone reporting to the local paper'. At this point, it's no wonder why so many people are confused and/or doing things differently than most any other school district. We are in a community where the adults would rather attack each other, attempt smear campaigns, and attempt to expose things as error without having more than 10% of the facts. All of this causes our entire community to have a negative reputation and our children to learn the concept of entitlement. Far too often, people feel they are entitled to something without working for it or without obtaining facts or without respect for another persons life. We, the adults, are the problem my friends. It's no wonder why the paper prints 90% negative stories about the school district. It's what most people want to read, the negative, gossip, tabloid type stories. Ironically, not one individual has called the district office this year complaining that they haven't seen more positive stories about the kids and their accomplishments. But 30 people will call about one article that is written which contains almost zero facts, just gossip because someone called the paper to complain. What if 10 people called the paper every day about reporting on positive things our kids are achieving instead of 3 people with an axe to grind calling because they didn't get an answer that THEY wanted or got an answer that was the truth, but THEY didn't believe it. What could happen for our community image then? The constant use of social media on behalf of our adults attempting to tear others down, cyberbully them, or in some cases even harass an individual and/or their family is disgraceful. We wonder why our kids think it's ok to take to social media and post things that are inappropriate and could jeopardize their future. They are watching the adults in their community do it on a weekly basis. The worst part, most everything that people are floating out there are less than 5% factual. But the second someone sees it on social media, they repost it, share it, whatever and hundreds more have seen it. All of a sudden, a complete fabrication steeped in anger for not getting their way has turned into reality. It's time to stop wondering why things in our community are so negative people and time to start acting like adults in a community that are working to improve the lives of our CHILDREN, not ourselves. Not everything in life goes the way we want it to, but that doesn't mean that everyone in life is out to get us. This community has tremendous potential and our staff have tremendous talent to be able to get our kids to the top. In order to do this though, we need to focus our energy in a positive direction and stop with conspiracy theories and attempts to hurt each other as adults. I wonder what could happen in an environment like that? It's time to find out... 

Senior Art/Music Showcase

The Class of 2018 Art and Music students are presenting a recital/gallery on Thursday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the large auditorium at RFA. This event is completely run by the students, and I know they would love to see you there. Please consider taking some time out of your evening to support our graduating artists!

Regents Exam Schedule

This week marks the start of the exam season for our high school and middle school students. Questions about your child's exam or schedule should be directed to the classroom teacher first, and then school administration second. Detailed information about the exam schedule and transportation information for students can be found HERE.

June 22 - Important Information

In years' past, the elementary schools would always dismiss on the last day of school after an hour or so of school. Unfortunately, this practice was in violation of the calendar regulations that connect a school district to State aid funding. The violation was simply that any day short of a full day does not count towards a district's 180-day allotment. Not a major violation, but not in compliance either. This year, district's have been informed that calendars are being audited which is why if you looked at the 2017-2018 calendar; you will notice that June 22 is a FULL DAY of school for students. Also, there are no traditional half days on Fridays for elementary either, to ensure compliance with this regulation.

2018-2019 Student Transfers

Each year, students and families at the elementary level request transfers to a different school due to childcare needs and family requirements. In the past, we have always asked everyone to complete a new transfer request form for the following year. In essence, we hit the reset button each summer with student enrollment and registration; essentially requiring everyone to jump through hoops again to get their students enrolled in a different school due to childcare reasons. The amount of time and resources that are expunged on the District end is also tremendous. That's why for 2018-2019, we will NOT be requiring families to submit a new request. For the first time, whatever school your student is attending in June 2018 is the school that we are going to enroll them in for the 2018-2019 school year. The only reason that any family would need to submit a transfer request for 2018-2019, would be if their child needed to attend a different school than where they currently attend. 

2018-2019 Report Cards

Beginning in 2018-2019, the Rome City School District will begin to utilize electronic methods to disseminate our report cards. Currently, parents at the secondary level are able to access in progress grades on a daily/weekly basis, virtually making the traditional report card in schools obsolete. Report cards will not look vastly different than they currently do, however instead of sending home with students or mailing them home, we will be saving report cards as a PDF file and emailing to families as an attachment. Throughout the summer we will work to increase our email database to ensure the best possible reporting and any family wishing to have a traditional paper report card can opt to have that option. More information will be available in August/September of this year. 

2018-2019 School Health Changes

Each year, New York State reviews their health screening requirements and on occasion will make changes. For the 2018-2019 school year, there are changes to the immunization requirements and health screening requirements. For a copy of the updated immunization requirements from the Department of Health, please click the link below. Other changes to health screenings include:

Health Examinations required in grades pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Vision and Hearing Screening required within 6 moths of entering school and in grades pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Scoliosis Screenings are required for females in grades 5 and 7, and for males in grade 9.

Please speak to your school nurse or family physician if you have any questions regarding these new requirements.